Independent Scotland’s ‘place in the world’ published

Angus Robertson

The Scottish Government’s External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has published proposals for how an “outward-looking, independent Scotland” could play its part in “tackling global challenges.”

The proposals include a plan to promote Scotland “as a hub for innovation, trade and investment.”

“An independent Scotland’s place in the world” is the latest paper in the Building a New Scotland series.

It sets out the Scottish Government’s policy proposals for international engagement and defence policy following independence.

These include:

  • commitments to apply for membership of the United Nations, European Union and NATO “as soon as possible following a vote for independence”
  • the establishment of a dedicated diplomatic network to promote and protect Scottish interests, provide consular support for Scottish citizens, “and promote the country as a hub for innovation, trade and investment”
  • a commitment to meet the UN’s target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on overseas development aid to help the world’s poorest countries
  • the establishment of new armed forces, “informed by an expert-led Defence and Security Review, with a modern contract for personnel and continued strong support for veterans”
  • the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland “in the safest and quickest manner possible after independence”

Robertson said: “Scotland is already making a contribution on the world stage, where we can, to address global poverty, the climate and biodiversity crises and threats to human rights.

“But because we are not independent, Scotland has been forced into Brexit and contributing towards billions of pounds being spent on nuclear weapons.

“If Scotland had full participation in multilateral bodies such as the UN we could ensure our voice is heard on critical global issues, such as on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

“Full representation within associations like the UN and EU would also enable us to negotiate directly to become party to international treaties, conventions and agreements that reflect Scotland’s values and ambitions as a good global citizen.

“These associations and the benefits they would bring, such as regained access to the world’s largest single market and freedom of movement within the EU, would also bring opportunities overseas and at home – helping to develop a competitive economy and support education, skills and jobs with our strengths in our culture and innovation industries, as well as renewable energy.

“Our proposals also make clear that the armed forces of an independent Scotland, supported by a modern contract for personnel and strong support for veterans, would play their part to defend our national interests and contribute to global peace and security, given our strategic position in the North Atlantic.

“Ultimately, independence would enable Scotland to determine the kind of state it wants to be on the world stage.

“We firmly believe that the challenges of the 21st century are best faced through more, not less, co-operation and I look forward to engaging with as many people as possible on the opportunities highlighted in this paper as we look to Scotland’s future.”